Cover of the book I WAS NEVER ALONE OR OPORNIKI: AN ETHNOGRAPHIC PLAY ON DISABILITY IN RUSSIA by Cassandra Hartblay. Off-white textured background with yellow circle like a spotlight around the text which is grey yellow and red, over a painting of theatre audience chairs fading into the background

Cassandra Hartblay’s work of dramatic nonfiction, I Was Never Alone or Oporniki presents an original stage play, based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Russia with adults with disabilities. The core of the work is the script of the play itself. In a supporting essay, the author describes the script development process, and argues that both ethnography and theatre can be understood as designs for being together in unusual ways, here animated by principles of disability access and the problem of translating daily life in Russia to the North American stage.

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Watch Performances
A photography of Samuel Valdez  performing the role of Vakas during the staged workshop performance of I Was Never Alone in October 2016 at the Shank Theatre at UC San Diego’s Jacobs Theatre District/La Jolla Playhouse. (Photo by Jim Carmody)

Watch or listen to recordings of live performances of the play.

Supplementary Materials

Find readings and media related to themes in the book.

Perform this Work
A photograph of Reagan Linton, she plays Vera in the October 2016 staged workshop of I Was Never Alone at the Shank Theatre at UC San Diego’s Jacobs Theatre District/La Jolla Playhouse. In the background, Vladimir Rudak follows along in the script, between segments of the original score, which he composed and played on acoustic guitar. (Photo by Jim Carmody)

Bring I WAS NEVER ALONE, OR OPORNIKI to a stage near you.